Well That Went Well

Number One: Can of Mushrooms

Both of my can openers are a bit shady. Trying to open a can of mushrooms to make dinner for a friend who was staying I only managed to make a series of punctures around the lid.

Pushing down on the top to try to force it open I had just thought “hmm this might cut me” when the top popped up and sliced my thumb. For a moment I could see right into all the tendons and stuff before they were obscured.

Hand Injury Opening Mushroom Can

Nice. Application of VSO-supplied eyepatch though stemmed the bleeding and after a few weeks almost good as new.

Number Two: Power Cord Shuffle

As part of moving our Digital Video Conferencing (DVC) equipment from a room now full of servers (or rather full of noise from one server and a switch) I knew it would become necessary to sort out the endless spaghetti of cables (mainly power) running in that room.

This would allow extraction of the DVC stand and kit leaving just what connections were needed for the stuff staying behind.

Not wanting to risk service interruption during office hours I decided to do this on Namibian Independence Day (which was a holiday).

Although all the network kit is supplied through a UPS I thought it might take longer than the 20 minutes of runtime promised to sort out the cables so I cleverly shutdown our big HP server and a tower Linux (critical for internet) server. Left the switches, routers and telco gear on which the UPS now said it would support for 55 minutes.

Unplugging, untangling and replugging actually took less than 10 minutes of crawling around.

HP server came back up in a blaze of fans.

Linux box was dead.

Somehow the front fascia had been knocked and the pole from the power switch no longer lined up with the microswitch inside. Application of screwdriver to fascia, snapping noise and a manual push – power up.

Except it didn’t boot. Not properly anyway.

Of course this box operates “headless” without a monitor or keyboard so all I knew was (a) LAN lights were on but (b) no network service from that box.

Plugged in a monitor and keyboard to find that; eth0 was still eth0 (external) while eth1 had now become eth2 (internal). Erm.

Quickly rejigged some config to point now to eth2 but alas lots of stuff like ISC DHCPD complains about eth1. Drat.

Using a Windows-style intervention I rebooted the computer to go through HW detection again and; it picked up eth0 and eth1.

All again was well. Once I’d undone my eth1-eth2 changes that was.

Of course if I’ve just trusted the UPS and kept the server on then this wouldn’t have happened.

Number Three: DVC Equipment Skillz

So today I moved the DVC equipment which I had disconnected during the great server/power rewire. Huffed and puffed to bring the (bloody big) cabinet and kit into its new home.

Plugged it all in and everything powered up apart from the actual video conferencing box.

I then spent forty minutes tracing cables (which had helpfully all been cable-tied out of sight inside cable runners in the cabinet) and checking voltage.

Until that was I found the switch on the back of the DVC box. The power switch. Which was off.

10 seconds later and all was well.

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